Neil Drumming
February 13, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

French auteur Michel Gondry has crafted stunning music videos for superstars like Bjork, Kylie Minogue, and the White Stripes. But that didn’t stop New Zealand rock-rap upstarts Steriogram from sending him a tape of their single ”Walkie Talkie Man.” Surprise — he bit. ”It was the kind of stubborn energy that I like,” says Gondry. ”The punk style made me think of [a famous photo of] the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten and how he had a sweater knitted by his mother — the contrast of this childlike look with this very violent music. From there, I decided to do everything with yarn,” he says of the clip, which has yet to debut on MTV (see it now at capitol With the help of knitter/designer Lauri Faggioni, Gondry spun the band’s whole world — from the instruments to the studio to the Capitol Records skyscraper — into a frenetic fabric fantasy. Like most of his undertakings, it was a painstaking process. ”I deliver what I say I will do,” he asserts. ”But a lot of times, people don’t really believe it’s going to work out.” Stubborn energy, indeed.

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